The Academy for Leadership Development was established in 2004 by the Division of Student Life at Baylor University to create a common place where diverse individuals studying, researching or practicing leadership in the context of a Christian worldview will benefit from collaboration. The purpose of fostering greater synergy among "leadership thinkers" is guided by an aspiration to provide a meaningful forum for talented Baylor students to develop their strengths in preparation for answering a call to sustained leadership in whatever their chosen vocations, whether they be service in public life, private enterprise, social issues, or the Church.
The Academy for Leadership Development seeks to provide curricular and co curricular experiences that facilitate student discovery of their God-given talents and responsibility to lead others in a journey toward a more just and humane world.
At the Academy for Leadership Development, we believe that:
Responsibility – We want students to be responsible leaders in every sense of the word. It is our belief that student leaders are responsible for creating safe and inclusive environments that are conducive to building ethical and healthy relationships that lead to unlikely friendships. (Inclusive Leadership)
Social Identity – We want students to acknowledge their social identity, and understand how their social identity informs their perspective and/or lens. As a result of engaging in effective collaborations, student leaders will learn the value of nurturing healthy interdependent relationships, while successfully navigating group dynamics (Relational Leadership).
Integrity – We want students to engage in transformative leadership experiences that provide opportunities to take ownership of their leadership journey. As students work to discover their calling and purpose in live, we want to instill within them the importance of living and leading with integrity. (Transformational Leadership)
Active Engagement – We empower our students to be catalysts for leadership development. It is our desire for student leaders to depart from the Academy equipped and motivated to be a positive change agent at Baylor and beyond. (Social Change)
The Academy believes all human beings, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity have the capacity to lead and influence the world so we welcome students from all diverse backgrounds.
Leadership is not about elections, promotions, titles, prestige, or position. Leadership is the ability to effect positive change in one's environment, however large or small. Some change, however, brings about personal and environmental transformation. This type of change moves beyond substituting one thing for another and instead causes a "metamorphosis in form or structure, a change in the very condition or nature of a thing, a change into another substance, a radical change in outward form or inner character, as when a frog is transformed into a prince or a carriage maker into an auto factory" (Burns, 2003, p. 24).
The Academy for Leadership Development is built on the assumption that some individuals are called to sustained positions of leadership (and possess the Romans 12:8 Christian spiritual gift of leadership); furthermore, no one is released from the responsibility to influence the world for noble and good purposes through opportunities to lead. As part of this endeavor, "Leaders take the initiative in mobilizing people for participation in the processes of change, encouraging a sense of collective identity and collective efficacy, which in turn brings stronger feelings of self-worth and self-efficacy.... By pursuing transformational change, people transform themselves . . . instead of exercising power over people, transforming leaders champion and inspire followers" (Burns, 2003, p. 24-25).